Clinton Mabry Milliken and two years

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Today (January 19, 2014) is no different from any other day since January 19, 2012. Two years seem like forever when it’s a rough moment. Two years seem like a nanosecond when it was the total time you got with an extra special little boy. Just another day to remember an incredible kid who irrevocably changed my world and the world of so many others.

I have had time to develop my list of Clinton lesson’s. Some days I refer to them as “The Clinton experience” because it is almost surreal. I have always believed life is full of paradigm shifts (ie – ideas that may be more or less fashionable during any given period of time, but all regarded as legitimate), I just tend to be on the side of those that believe without seeing much quicker than others.

The world thinks – the best educations are obtained from Ivy league schools with the most astute professors. Not to be argued, but no one can discount lessons taught by a 7-year-old who had only just completed Kindergarten (and half a year of Kinder-grader. That is – part K and part 1st grade in one day).

Clinton taught me –
– patience and kindness on a different and more meaningful level.
– to realize that there really are people who do not deserve my time.
– to push boundaries – almost to the illegal point. (No – wait, allowing a then 6-year-old to drive may have been – technically, illegal.). Prove it. Then, arrest me.

The world needs to know that once you survive the loss of a child, it's got NOTHING.

The world needs to know that once you survive the loss of a child, it’s got NOTHING.

– that my professional work and some people “very close” to me – needed me more far more than I needed them, and that they would never be capable of respecting me nor my decisions. It was an ouch moment.
– to stop trying to please those who could never be pleased, but to instead focus that energy on those who need and are grateful for my voice, time and talent.
– that the world STINKS at second chances and that so many judge other’s decisions, yet have no clue what it’s like to make decisions even close to the levity that they are judging.
– how to lose gracefully. I’m really bad at this. Yet, to compete like I would win and never ever give up the hope of winning until your Momma tells you it’s okay to stop.
– how to keep going when everyone except your biggest cheerleaders say you will fail.
– he sealed my belief that the world needs to pay more attention to the wisdom and resiliency of children. Especially children faced with the most agonizing circumstances. Of course, bald-headed kids – but also the children of Africa, orphans – or any war-torn area. Watch them find pure happiness and joy in the simplest of things. It will change you and your ideals of what you think you need.

It’s not just myself that this boy taught. I could never tell and retell the numerous people (complete strangers, never having met Clinton) tell us how he changed their life. It still blows our minds.

I read a quote recently (paraphrasing) that a person actually dies twice. The first time – when their heart stops beating. A second and final time when no one speaks their name. Clinton’s second time is not happening.

It’s just not.

c laughing

Please remember me.

Fit for a King

Fit for a King

Want to see some awesomeness? Click away:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj8QqAP-Phg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAvcMrPkkK0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN9wpeflqgA

www.clintonsclub.org

Above all, Clinton wished that Cancer kids, could “just be normal kids”.  Admittedly, I was not 46/7 aware before Clinton. Childhood Cancer is killing our children far faster and in more number than any other single disease, incident (think terrorism), etc. As Americans, we seem to not care that our federally funded Cancer research dollars are allocated in such disproportion that we spend 99 cents of every dollar on fighting ADULT cancer and one penny of every dollar to childhood cancer. If this means nothing to you – I challenge you to spend 99% of your family’s income on yourself and 1% on your kids and see how long before child protective service visits your home – and takes your children away. Just think. Then DO something. (Please, research those non-profits you give to. Just because they use smiling little bald-headed kids in their marketing, does not mean they give to children). Legend has it, I was known to throw a few breath-holding-until-I-got-my-way fits when I was little. Being the baby and all. Loving a Cancer kid has taken this skill to a whole new level. Childhood Cancer Caucus – you’ve been warned. Since the Clinton experience, I have added a few hundred more children to my list of advocacy. I’ve got your number, I see your little lies. You’ve had a good run at hiding the numbers of incident by labeling childhood cancers – rare. Yeah, we’re not that stupid – anymore. Until you come up with names that distinguish the different types of breast or prostate cancer – you are no longer allowed to call the “rare” childhood cancers – names like: Medulloblastoma, Leukemia, Neuroblastoma, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Wilms, Rhabdomyosarcoma,Retinoblastoma, Osteosarcoma, Ewing Sacroma, etc. To do this and then tell the world that childhood cancers are rare is a lie. Add em up. Then tell the world that the parents of kids with cancer did nothing wrong. Be sure to also let the world know that most (no not all, no hate mail, please) of adult cancers are the result of personal choices. This is not like the idiom of comparing apples to oranges. This is more like comparing apples to – deep-fried-chocolate-dipped-bacon. 

https://woodardgirl.com/2012/02/09/my-sweet-sweet-clinton/

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Mission Accomplished… You really think so?

By the time you get to the last word of this blog post, those who really know me will be thinking “oh no – she didn’t! There goes that Woodard girl”. To fully understand my back story, you can read “The Early Years” one of my first blog posts.  Summed up in a sentence – I grew up in a sleepy homogeneous New England town. Very homogeneous. I am the whitest girl of all Anglo-Saxon’s anywhere. Now that we have cleared that up, there is no racial chip on my shoulder.  What initiated my thought process around this specific  blog post is a rebroadcast of Jase & Missy Robertson’s K-LOVE radio interview about abstinence before marriage. I listened to it, ironically on Martin Luther King day. Why is that ironic? Just keep reading!

I have a habit of saving pod casts, television shows and e-books for times when I travel by air or car. I must have saved the above mentioned radio interview during my research on Duck Dynasty. I live in the South and had no idea what this show was and honestly thought it wasn’t real. I had no idea duck calls were such big business, and I am certainly not a fan of facial hair. In fact, I remove it for a living. However, I have a very open mind, and had to research this show since social media outlets were on fire about their show as well as the fact that Wal-mart dedicates and entire aisle to all of their merchandise. (I tend to be slightly behind when it comes to television shows as they happen.  Not only am I too avid a reader to watch a ton of television, I have too little time during the week to tune-in, so I save them up for times I have to be locked into a seat belt).  I have a personal rule that I do not watch shows that scare me or “dumb me down” and I am also not the most patient person (gasp!)  – so I have a hard time with weekly show cliff hangers. I have been known to watch a season or 8 in one day (Downtown Abbey, Suits, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, etc).  Duck Dynasty will probably never reign as one of my top-10 shows, but there are parts of the show that are hilarious as well as puzzling. I think Willy is a marketing genius and his problems with motivating his staff are so easy to relate to. Here is a link to the interview:

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WWW6DWNX

I am sure the purpose of the video was to contain positive family building content, and I do think it does that, however,  it had the exact opposite effect on me. Since this blog post will lack photo’s and some of you may be uncomfortable reading the content, copy and paste the link below and allow it to repeat with your speakers on for the duration of your reading.

Like most of my thoughts – they are normally complex and  somewhat-all-over the place so I’ll do my best to organize. As I listened to Jase and Missy talk, I was quite sad over my own realization that the public’s response to the Robertson family, their reality show and the very fact that they are millionaires is overwhelmingly positive (and yes, their wealth is flaunted on their show) – yet, the response to the Murfreesboro, TN filmed reality show about the Tankard family “Thicker Than Water” is not. Why? Why would one family be regarded so well in spite of their obvious success and another somewhat frowned upon? WHY does the world have a problem with Pastoral families having money? What is the issue? Perhaps more families would go into ministry and missions if they weren’t overly pressured into feeling bad about any success they have. Before anyone justifies in their mind that this is not truly a belief, Yes, they are. I can give many examples – from living all over the world – but a couple of local examples are:

People are uncomfortable with the “showy-ness” of World Outreach Church. I have heard it all – they are too big, they spend too much money on their facility, they pay for headliners to come into the community – meaning their members simply have to be entertained. Personally, I think it’s brilliant. Name another church that brings thousands and thousands to the Word? So many of our community leaders attend this church – they are also quietly the medical directors (for free) of local pregnancy support centers, hold leadership positions in many areas and volunteer many hours in the community.  They bring a much needed piece of light to the business world. If you are not comfortable with the size of the church, then leave it at that, there is no need to justify your decision further. Carry on Word Outreach Church – carry on!

I participated in a local program (let’s keep it anonymous) and another participant was a Preacher. Other participants commented on the very fact that he was a preacher and drove a nice car. I do not think this needs any more explanation, but I went away from those comments thinking that they would be much happier if he barely drove away in a car older than them. Realistically, if we compare building a Kingdom in today’s world – who would want to attend a church where everyone is barely surviving? Keep it real, people.

Before moving on, in almost every scenario – “church people” lash out and say that God himself instructs His people to live a humble life. I can not argue with that, but I think “humble” lends itself to interpretation. Apparently, to those uncomfortable with a pastoral families success, they mean “give it all away, prosper those who are sitting at home while they work, and for crying out loud, please don’t show the world that Christians can be successful”. In my personal experience people who say this the most are those that have less money than they do. Which translates to “you can’t be a Christian if you have more money than me”. This is jealousy. Jealousy is a sin.  Most will also question my knowledge of the Bible in a “bless her heart” undertone. Review: there are parts of the bible, specifically the Old Testament that are simply incredible atrocities. In the Bible, words having to do with killing significantly outnumber words having to do with love – yet, the Greatest of these is Love.  Imagine the problems we would have today if we literally applied the book of Genesis alone to the way we live?  (God’s arbitrary preference of Abel’s offering to that of Cain’s provokes Cain to commit the first biblically recorded murder and kill his brother Abel; The Israelites kill Hamor, his son, and all the men of their village, taking as plunder their wealth, cattle, wives and children; God is unhappy with the wickedness of man and decides to do something about it. He kills every living thing on the face of the earth other than Noah’s family and thereby makes himself the greatest mass murderer in history & God personally sees to it that Lot’s wife is turned to a pillar of salt (for having looked behind her while fleeing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah)). Feeling the Love? Perhaps these situations become problems because they are inherent in a literalist or fundamentalist interpretation. Some of the selections may be resolvable on certain interpretations–after all, almost any problem can be eliminated with suitable rationalizations–but it is your obligation to test this possibility and to decide whether it really makes appropriate sense to do these things today. I presented the examples above where problems may exist given certain allowable (but not always obligatory) assumptions. It should be kept in mind that a perfect and omnipotent God could, should, and likely would see to it that such problems did not exist in a book which he had inspired. It should also be kept in mind that what is and is not an atrocity is to some extent a matter of opinion. So many who sling such words put God in a very small box.

Obviously I struggle with this – so someone please – help me! I adore lists, so let’s review some observations and thoughts, list-like.

1. Before addressing more of the specifics relating to the show, I’ll take some time to address that the highly emotionally charged Trayvon Martin case brought up a lot of the same emotions for me and I think this is a compilation of my experiences, thoughts and perspective. They aren’t really open to hate-mail opportunities. It makes me slightly insane when America brags that we have come “so far” with civil rights. Really?  The specter of racism still lingers, it has simply taken on new forms since the mid-20th century. What we used to know as racism, has thankfully/mostly died. My Princess Katherine can legally sit on any public transportation with her good-pal Lorin, and it is no longer polite conversation in white society to speak negatively about black people as a race. Praise God!  Aside from the fact that true racism that will literally only die off with the older generations for whom racism was normative (and I believe this is what Oprah was trying to say) – what we have traditionally called racism has likely receded to as low a level as we will ever see it in our lifetime. Unfortunately, there will always be, and there always have been, people who see their own people group as superior. Xenophobia is a natural human tendency which has plagued every era since the dawn of man. I can recall a few instances where accusations of racism were slung at me personally and/or professionally if an employee I supervised was disciplined by me and they were not white. Fortunately, they fell flat or got lost in translation. Not only because it was simply not true – but because I have African-American friends whom I genuinely love, appreciate and call family. My home has been described in the past as the United Colors of Benetton and – I LOVE it.  I believe in the traditional sense of racism, most people aren’t racist. The temptation is to think that because we no longer discriminate solely on race, we have won the war on racism. Mission accomplished. Wrong.  We are fooling ourselves if we think we have achieved racial equality or eliminated racial prejudice. We have a long way to go and a lot of work to do along the way. However, we can’t continue with the same strategies that worked in combating racism as we once knew it.  Because of our national fascination with crime, the Trayvon Martin case became a sensation with sociological impact. This same situation happens in cities across America, every day but are local stories. It’s a tragedy, of course. Regardless of the narrative that saw Trayvon as an aggressor or the one that saw George Zimmerman as a vigilante, it was an event in a small town in northern Florida. The situation was terrible, and we should mourn the loss of life. When stories like the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case polarize the nation, we should be exploring why and not the color of skin.

2. I mentioned Xenophobia above and I think most logically thinking people can understand this. But, what in the world is going on in African-American culture where – for whatever reason, it is acceptable for members of the African-American community to hurl insults at each other? I am so disappointed to see the negative comments on the Thicker Than Water FAN page (review definition of FAN, please). Simple clicks to the profiles of the naysayers and it’s easy to discover that an alarming number of haters of the successful black family – are black. So, here’s the moment of honesty. Why? Is it because African American’s aren’t supposed to be successful? Smart? Live in a nice home that they have worked for? I’m so completely lost here! It is my opinion as well that owners of such profiles should change their employment statuses and try to build their community up rather than tear it down.  I know this is nothing new, but with all of this progress – seriously? Maybe I answered it above – are these unhappy people passing judgment because the Tankards have more than they do?

3. I personally experienced racism at it’s finest when I traveled with hands-down the best female surgeon – ever. We were in San Francisco in 2003 and checking in to a posh hotel. We were registered by our names and titles. The hotel staff looked me straight in the face, ignoring her and addressed me as “Doctor”. I had a near come-apart and she was quick to apologize for them that it was no big deal. Yes it is. I didn’t go to jail over that incident, but I could have. I nearly did go to jail three days later when we were trying on clothes in Ann Taylor Loft and the sales girl made a bad judgement call and refused to wait on the good Doctor, but was hands over feet attempting to be helpful to me. I stomped out of the dressing room half-dressed to get her thin beautiful self a smaller size!  I allowed said sales girl to ring up a lot of items, then explained to her why she lost that very sale. Both the hotel receptionist and the salesperson were African-American. Unbelievable. STOP IT.

4. I have known the Tankard family for almost all of the years that I have lived in Murfreesboro. Jewel has been a client of mine for almost all of these years. I do not claim to know her fully nor can I figure out how she does all that she does in one day. Other than any service that I perform for her inside my own business, I am not on this families payroll  (before you even think this). Why does the relationship between Jewel and I work? Because she asks for advice in my area of expertise and then actually follows it. She brings new ideas and allows me to push boundaries in treating black skin. In my world, treating black skin with laser is like walking a tightrope over the Grand Canyon with no safety net or learning to drive a stick shift on a mountain.  I do not recommend attempting to treat her or sell her on a product if you do not know your stuff.  Treatment sessions are also normally business development discussions and/or talks of faith.  In a time where I was making a huge professional change, in true Jewel fashion – she offered no excuses and no leniency on doing what was right, even though it was a hard decision. The girl makes my professional endurance look like I’m calling shot-gun in the sofa series. It has been said that she is narcissistic. Please review that definition too. Narcissistic people do not financially support local and national charities. They also do not allow their nearing adulthood children to live under their roof and use their resources.  Theory denied. Jewel has led more women to financial success than any other woman I have ever personally known. It would be easy enough for her to walk-away from her own and her step-children, but she doesn’t. She has put her family first and her husband first. She’s an entrepreneur and the local community should be thankful that they chose to search for a rather large home that was in foreclosure and costing many local businesses a lot of money. With a simple public records search, you can find that they paid less for Tankard Palace than many of you in ivory towers did for your modest homes. That makes her sensible, not hate-able.

5. The Tankard family, namely Ben Tankard – papa to everyone and Pastor of the Destiny Center Church – does not, repeat after me, does not receive compensation from the congregation. He is a Pastor because he has experienced success and he does not need a salary from the church that he started in his living room. Even if you find a natural tendency to not like the Tankards, use some third grade math. I estimate they have approximately 200 or so members in their church. I am a good a tithing, but 200 of my friends could not solely support the physical church plant, the payroll, the utilities AND the Tankard family. I have two females in my house  – they have six. I can not imagine what that costs. Again, simple third grade math.  I love how transparent he is – and often he “goes there”. I think the world needs more of this realness that people who have stumbled can see and realize there is hope. Ben is incredibly talented and his gospel Jazz CD’s are in the spa music mix! He still owes me his autograph on his cover of VIP Murfreesboro, but I digress. Ben has over 21 Gold and Platinum Records lining his walls, has earned 13 Stellar Awards, 1 Blue Mic Award, and has multiple Grammy, Dove, and Soul Train Award Nominations and is the best-selling gospel/jazz  instrumentalist/artist of all time.  Ben has released 19 studio albums and sold over 2 million records worldwide. He also discovered Yolanda Adams.  Impressive? Sure – but even more impressive – no lessons ever. Incredible. Why are the Tankards successful?  I believe it boils down to extreme faith and focus. My favorite Ben line “There is no Ghetto Heaven”.

6. Those who claim that they will never, ever watch this show, seem to know an awful lot about the show. This means, you’re watching it! Last Sunday, 11/24/13, Thicker Than Water had the following number of viewers according to Nielsen ratings (I believe this is 1.623 million viewers) – just ahead (eek!) of Duck Dynasty. This number represents live viewers – the live plus DVR’d number looks more like 1.86 million.  Approximately 28, (as in 28 total, not million) of these viewers are posting repetitive negative comments on fan pages, twitter, etc.

THICKER THAN WATER BRVO 9:00 PM 1623
DUCK DYNASTY AEN 10:00 PM 1572

In close, I do not feel the need to defend the Tankard’s, they do not need my protection – but they will receive it, if it comes into my presence. Wait, I do feel the need to defend Cyrene (the youngest Tankard), first, because I  just love this girl. She is one of the sweetest girls ever with a face that lights up when she recognizes people she loves. I adore this quality in her. I have watched her grow up second-hand through her mother, and only recently started to get to know her more personally (these kids grow up and get their own cars!) Second, because she is still in high school and kids and teachers – can be mean. Don’t be mean to my baby!  I am like a mother bear, and I have many cubs. They do not all look like me – as a matter of fact – only two look like me. Many of my kids are African-American (shout-out to my loves Justin, Jonathan, Katherine Coryse, Imani, Jerome, Jr and Adonis – kids I could adopt in a minute and love and raise in a way their own mothers would wish), some are Asian, hundreds have little bald-heads. I have been known to show up at schools, doctors offices and hospitals and ask what acceptable culture is at their establishment when a child other than my own by birth has been mistreated. Last, I believe Cyrene has a special light that the world hasn’t even begun to see and I can not wait to see what she does.   I believe the Tankards are favored, and I believe you haven’t seen anything yet in this regard. I have said this before, but it’s worth repeating – perhaps those who have more can be trusted with it? It is exhausting to see all the negativity – especially on social media.  I am sincerely bothered by all the “Christian’s” who post all the reasons that the Tankard’s can’t be “real Christian’s”. To those (and even those who haven’t posted, spoke it nor printed it – but perhaps have thought it) – I’d like to leave you with a thought to ponder just for a moment and hopefully serve as a gentle reminder.  Jesus did not come in like a divine Caucasian police officer and throw all sinners in jail, or take snap shots then pass judgement and move on. He came alongside us, experienced our problems, and attempted in a very short life to teach lessons that would only benefit us, even at the expense of His own life. Be very careful. Do you think your thoughts and actions have accomplished His mission? You really think so?

Trifling.

I outlined above why I think Pastoral families are held in a different regard and although it explains some of the misbehavior, it doesn’t address my original observation. The Robertson family is not a pastoral family, so, is that why America is overwhelming positive about their show, or is it because they are Caucasian and the Tankard’s are not?  How disappointed would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. be? He too, gave his own life.

Links: (all social media clickable from their websites)

Thicker Than Water: http://www.bravotv.com/thicker-than-water

Ben Tankard: http://www.bentankard.org/home.html

Jewel Tankard: http://jeweltankard.org/

Cyrene’s new launch!:  http://cyrenelovettelacquers.bigcartel.com/

Brooklyn: http://queenbrooklynsvirginhair.com/

* I always feel the need for a disclaimer. The Tankard family have not endorsed nor viewed this post before it went live. It is not intended to be their belief nor their words. This is a personal blog and the contents are mine alone. It is not meant to be the works of the Tankard family, Bravo, The Destiny Center, nor any of their present, past or future affiliates.

Thicker Than Water

water
   You know what is thicker than water? (other than Blood?) – A woven family! I am SO proud of these two and their blended/woven family! I have known the Tankards as long as I have lived in TN and have watched them walk the walk and live real lives for Christ. With Jewel’s permission I’ll share that I have treated her skin with medical laser and Aesthetics (no pressure at all, she’s just on Television and if you haven’t noticed, she has black skin!)  She is at the top of my list for clients who just get “it”. She openly shares what she’s doing, what she uses on her skin and how her diet and travel schedule can show up on her face. Together, we have created a treatment plan that is inexpensive, works and stays just ahead of the intrinsic aging curve. But don’t take my word for it – check her out!

Jewel Tankard

Jewel Tankard

 Jewel and Ben are so many things and wear so many hats – but, they also carry a lot of burden. Some are envious of their abundant blessings. They wouldn’t be if they knew how hard these two have worked. They raise their children, grandchild, pastor their church, run their businesses and are good stewards. They work HARD. Up before dawn and lay their head down long after many others tune out. Jewel and I may have termed the phrase “not many business leaders can be found sleeping in every day until lunchtime!”, amongst other tales from the treatment room. It is never dull!  Did I mention Jewel is also leading the launch of #tankardcosmetics as she coaches her daughters through the business start up process?

Since the day Jewel shared with me the name of their reality tv series Thicker Than Water, the same chorus has run through my head..
“Why can’t we see the walls we can’t see through
And see what God’s been telling me and you
(and that is) Blood is thicker than water
Oh, but love, love is thicker than blood”

Love in action- is what they do best. 

I’m just going to throw it out there – in addition to their hard work, perhaps they are living this life of abundance because they can be TRUSTED with it.  Just a thought.

#tankardcosmetics

  Their Television show series kicks off on Sunday, November 10th at 9 est/8 cst on Bravo! Be sure to tune in to see some of your favorite Murfreesboro, TN locations. I haven’t seen it – but I know it will be real, it will be FUNNY and they will bring it!

   To watch some of their trailors and get a sneak peak, click this link!

http://www.bravotv.com/thicker-than-water

This one is my favorite so far!

http://www.bravotv.com/thicker-than-water/season-1/videos/rich-is-definitely-better

 Want to attend the Premiere? Join us!

Saturday, November 2, 2013 ~ 7pm

International Black Film Festival

Country Music Hall of Fame

 Nashville, TN

Inequality in America

 
GO GOLD

 GOLD

    Many Cancer fighting families and the Physicians who treat them – think that last year our Nation spent $122 million,  let’s say – on the research of one Pediatric (kids) cancer, specifically, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and $631 million on just one adult cancer (breast), because kids are not old enough to vote and therefore politicians do not have to answer to kids. I personally have heard these words spoken on too many occasions over the last 3 years. This is complete rubbish. The cancer kid’s parents vote. Their older-than-18 extended families and biggest cheerleaders – vote. But we have a history of asking politicians the wrong questions. What IS on their platform? I made a promise to a cheeky 7 year old, from that day forward – I would know these things, and whether or not my representatives, congressional members and/or anyone I vote for ever – has childhood cancer research on their platform. If it is not even on their radar, they are not on mine. To be on mine they will need to so some research and see what we can do to right this injustice. No, I do not mean lip service. I like written plans. I’ll need to see those too before you get my vote.

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The King

 I challenge local, state and federal legislators to discover why “everyone” says it is big Pharma’s fault that there has only been one new pediatric drug released in over 20 years on the market. “Everyone” says that big Pharma does not develop/manufacture new drugs for kids because they will not make money off pediatric drugs. WRONG! First, drug companies have very savvy business and marketing development leaders – and second – this subsection of consumers has 46 new customers every single day. The parents of these kids and those who love them most (and even complete strangers) will find the funds necessary to treat/cure-  if the drugs that were needed – were out there. We’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local kids to get to watered down adult treatment centers across the nation – and sometimes out of the country – because it’s the best option we have. Last – the drug companies are already making money off kids with cancer, but they are not earning a good reputation when their drugs are watered down to a kid dose – have horrific side effects and the kid still dies.  I have spoken directly to – and have had incredible conversations with the leaders in “big Pharma”. They have so many amazing potential kid-friendly drugs on the cusp – but they have difficulty getting governmental approval relating to the research/outcome protocols for Pediatric drugs. Now why would our government do that? Because they only want to fund/grant programs that have good outcomes – and they are doing a bang-up job with that across the board aren’t they? The governmental guidelines are too stringent and they only chose the studies with a very high chance of a great outcome (read propaganda garbage). The only drugs to survive this review are made for adults. It’s just not the American way – to take the easy road.  It doesn’t make me feel better about  myself and our government at the end of the day – and it shouldn’t you either.

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Follow us to the clubhouse. Where cancer kids can be “normal” kids, even for just a few hours.

 I have worked for over two decades in healthcare and I have a special place in my heart for women’s healthcare. My true passion has always been in this field and I have been blown away by the advances. 21 years ago (and even more recent than that) – a breast cancer diagnosis delivered was almost a death sentence. Today, many women work throughout their entire treatment plan without missing much time from work. Am I angry about that? NO. Please do not misunderstand the semantics of my words. I rejoice in the news that yet another woman has beat this monster. I have two very good friends who have breast cancer right now – and whom I love dearly. I have spoken to both of them on this very subject. They themselves – cannot believe the  treatment options they have compared to the non-existing options for children. I do not want the pink ribbon to go away (unless we abolish breast cancer) – but it should not be that hard to equally see the GOLD ribbon about. Pink is big in October, and every other month.  Awareness works – and the pink ribbon campaign has proven this. GOLD needs to work just the same. September is THEIR month. Let’s see some GOLD. Own a business? Cover it in GOLD this September. Allow Clinton’s Club (www.clintonsclub.org) to place an awareness poster in your storefront – or host an event. You do not need money to do this. Donate your social media presence – even an hour a day can make a big difference. Think you can’t make a difference because you have no money? Wrong. Go to Google, select Google images. In the Search bar type “Clinton’s club”. As of this morning, the first 5 images you will find are either sweet Clinton himself – or a highly viewed photo tagged to Clinton.  I am SO SORRY Bill and Hilary, “I have  never had”…intentions to squeeze you off this page. I did partake in ousting Michelle Obama as the #1 trending hash tag for Nashville, TN the week we squeezed her to #2. It was a small week – in this country we call it – re-election week, in a decade where social media – clearly won an election.  I believe it went something like this #pray4tay.   

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Click photo to go to Tay’s site

 One last note to local community leaders, business owners and legislators perhaps you have been fortunate enough to never personally experience childhood cancer. I pray you never do. But if you are one that clicks fast over another bald kids photo or social media awareness page, stop it. We are not looking for nor asking for empathy. We are so sorry that it makes you sad, or maybe even brings you to tears.  We have enough sympathy – we do not need that. We want you to know that ignoring this fact IS impacting the economic growth and development of our community. I’ll use Rutherford County, TN as an example. I personally know NINE local families who have health insurance and who have to spend $40k or more per year out-of-pocket to obtain necessary care for their kids. This does not count counseling for siblings, care for siblings, etc. It doesn’t affect us right? Well, one parent works for Nissan and continues to miss a lot of work to travel out of the local area for Neuroblastoma care (certain this impacts the production line); one works in healthcare herself – and the staff at her work missed an entire day to attend the funeral of her 7-year old. (only 40 patients didn’t receive their scheduled healthcare in RuCo that day, in a critical field that can have many social consequences); one owns her own business that was once thriving and is now nearly closed; ALL of them have gone from a two family income to one, or a single parent who once worked full-time to not working just so one parent can be with the child 24/7. Many have filed bankruptcy. Almost all – have or will be filing for divorce. Our children will most likely have a classmate during their primary school years who has cancer. If your child or grandchild comes home talking about a “monkey in their chair” the monkey represents their classmate who is out of school because of cancer. They will ask you for a few extra dollars to buy a plastic band with their classmates name on it to wear. Some schools ban these bands as not being a violation of dress code. So – yes, if affects us all. Emotionally, Cognitively, Socially, Economically. So, if you ask me how concerned I am about a new conference center and it’s ability for RuCo to compete in an economic arena – I might discuss this with you after you convince me that you have a plan that will really make a difference in the lives of the people who live and work here.

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Click to see one of the sweetest faces ever. xxEmxx

 I hope you have your thinking caps on. I hope you do more than just think. Imagine, if tomorrow – a terrorist (foreign or home-grown) walked into Siegel elementary and killed 7 innocent children sitting in their classroom. We’d see action. But that’s not quite the right analogy to use. First, we’d have to gather up all of those who love these 7 children – and force them to watch them be tortured over the next year to several – knowing they will die anyhow. What would we do about that? No, this is not shock marketing, this is the truth. A quick visit to the Pediatric Oncology floor at Vanderbilt today – will prove, The floor is full and there are two kids who’s healthcare is at risk as they “wait” in a germ incubator we call the ER. They are waiting because the rooms are full. They shouldn’t have to wait more than 24 hours. Adult Oncology floor has beds immediately available.

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Murfreesboro’s own sweet girl & Color’s For Hope – Leah Bee. Fighting Neuroblastoma like a BOSS